Taki Tam seriously thinking of suing Silvio Berlusconi for plagiarising many of my lines. I love Berlusconi, but while he was crooning on board a liner long before he made his billions I was using lines such as 'With you I would go anywhere ... especially to a desert island ... 'or 'I would follow you anywhere, even to the loo ... I feel so possessive and jealous ... ' and other such corny lines. Uncool as they may sound now, believe me they used to work, and sometimes they still do.
All seductions begin with flirting. Flirting is the key which turns the engine on. It is as simple as that. Without flirting, you cannot seduce, and without seduction the race becomes extinct. The British newspapers used the term 'playboy antics' to describe Silvio's badinage with young attractive women. But not everybody who uses chat-up lines is a playboy, otherwise you'd have 50 million Italian playboys and ten million Greek ones. Show me an Italian or a Greek man who doesn't flirt and I'll show you a pervert. Flirting has never ruined a marriage or driven a wife to drink. Coldness does that. Men who flirt usually service their wives regularly, and everyone else they can get hold of. Nothing wrong with that; we Europeans need more people and less immigration.
About two years ago Rachel Johnson rang me and asked me for some tips while researching her novel Notting Hell. Basically, how to handle a wife, a mistress and — hopefully — a few girlfriends. I wrote ten basic rules which were originally published by her in an article about her novel. So here, at last, are Taki's ten rules for playing away, straight from the horse's mouth: (1) Always remind your wife that you love her and will never leave her for anyone else, ever. (2) Always remind your prospective lover that, if she gives in, you will never leave her and that you love her more than your wife. (3) Always promise marriage. Promising marriage has served me well these last 50 years, although if one is past 60, one should promise that the last will and testament will look very kindly upon anyone who has had carnal knowledge of the soon-to-be deceased. (4) Never raise your voice or show anger. Always fake jealousy with both your wife and lover, and especially with your mistress. (5) Deny, deny, deny. Never admit the slightest indiscretion. Confessions are for amateur adulterers. (6) Be very generous before and after the affair. Women talk, and word that one is generous gets around quicker than bad news. (7) Marry a beautiful woman, preferably upper class and sure of herself, and cuckold her with lesser, uglier beings. She won't mind and they will be flattered to cuckold someone superior to them. (8) Be romantic. Whisper, write notes to both the wife and the lovers. (9) Make love to everyone concerned regularly. Well-serviced women do not go looking for trouble. (10) Always be in a good mood and always make them laugh. Show me a man who makes women laugh, and I'll show you one who gets laid a lot.
Berlusconi first laid eyes on Veronica in 1980. He was a builder and she was a B - movie star. He saw her on stage, was thunderstruck and hey presto. He not only got the girl, but also 35 billion big ones. He also became the longest-serving premier of postwar Italy. Somehow he rubs people up the wrong way — he is very tacky; no jokes, please — but I'm a fan. I've never met him but I like it when he shows off in front of cold Anglo-Saxons, telling them he lost his hair because of making too much love. (He's had implants since.) And I envy him terribly for getting the object of his affection. If only it would happen to the poor little Greek boy. Let me explain.
Three weeks ago I flicked the television on and suddenly my heart began to pump so rapidly I thought I was having a heart attack. The film was The Dreamers, a Bertolucci movie which is the sexiest pic ever, and then some. The divine one's name is Eva Green, and in The Dreamers she loses her virginity in front of her brother, having driven a young man crazy by undressing completely while dancing to 'La Mer', sung by Charles Trenet. In no time Eva had made me forget Juliette Binoche, Irene Jacob and Isabelle Huppert. Like a crazy man, I began to make inquiries. And found out that two good friends of mine had their cavities filled by her father, a Parisian dentist by the name of Green. Her mother is the actress Marlene Jobert, quite sexy in her youth. Their daughter is surely one of God's greatest creations. Alas, Dr Green has retired and sold his practice, otherwise I'd be on my way to Paris to have everything redone. And my yearning and adoration for her is made more bittersweet because she doesn't know I exist. Oh, yes, I almost forgot one important item in my ten commandments. Persistence. I am not about to give up. Eva is 22 and I am 70. It is the perfect age difference between a man and a woman. I am not favoured to win her, but stranger things have happened.